You can feel it in your bones. You’ve been on a plane for the better part of twenty hours. You stepped out into 100-degree weather with 100 percent humidity. Not feeling real well. The chefs are disoriented to say the least. Making their way to the market and getting the chance to walk around and eat must be a major relief. But the thought that they would get off as easy as a calm walk was beyond a misplaced sense of security. Seeing Padma is an immediate slap into sobriety. The challenge was very straightforward, and I feel the chefs really should have, and may have, seen it coming. I think the interpretation that Angelo had an advantage was totally accurate. He has a long history of working in restaurants that have woks as well as a noted pedigree of Asian cuisine. With that being said you can never be considered a shoo-in. All four of the chefs did a tremendous job with the challenge. The main reason that Ed came out on top was because he was able to make the dish a little more satiating and complete than the others. Winning immunity is a huge advantage and really does let you take a breath and acclimate to the Singapore setting. He really needs to keep hit wits about him, but Ed now has a bit of time to get himself back to a normal state of mind.
I have to say I was pretty taken aback by the overt showing of contempt for each other. There was so much emphasis on wanting to make each other fail that it made me really question the focus of some of the chefs, especially this late in the game. You really should just be looking at your dishes and how you can excel. You can’t let your guard down for a second and it seemed as if there was so much negative energy needlessly spent.
I loved Tiffany. However, Tiffany fell off the mark slightly and they needed to take everyone's dish into consideration. She was off her game. She was competing against great chefs. The judges had to take that one dish and break it down and see who would come out the winner or the loser. Unfortunately it was Tiffany's time to go.
I think that we should all remember that this show is on Bravo! And there will always be drama! So who stabbed who and who dated who back in the day is ridiculous. Who cares? Drama brings in viewers... I'm not happy Kelly went home but I didn't taste the food, now I am team Ed! His food is the food I would want to eat!!! Oh and I loved Eli on his season!
Why isn't anyone upset that Tiffany was eliminated before the finale?! I thought she would go all the way. It does not seem right that Amanda would go just one week before Tiffany, it seems like the judges should have taken her body of work into consideration, not just the final dish that she made. Her positive energy and even-temperament in the kitchen is sorely missed, and should have been a factor in getting her on the finale.
Rule number 1, "never assume anything on top chef because the food of the day will prevail." I cannot understand how any chef, regardless of personal history or cooking skills could or would arrive in a new location and NOT be prepared with some level of an experienced pallet. Regardless of where they cook there are international markets and they should have honed their skills and tasted indigenous spices before they left the US for the finale. Padima was 100% correct when she said to Kevin, "you don't know how to cook with a wok?!" Don't get me wrong, RATS is a great place, but Kevin should have driven to some of our local markets and he would have fared better with his challenge. I think Ed will win because he arrived prepared for Angelo's background with Asian flavors. But, what makes this show so great, is we can't taste the final dishes...we have to allow our sense of cooking chemistry decide if the dish is as good as it seems while they prepare each component and structure their presentation. eg, I knew Amanda blew it when she failed to oil her tuna and ground it a day before, a very bad choice for DC...uch! That alone tells us, she was not ready for top chef. My question concerns the tripwire on top chef: Who will make the best dessert in the finale?
definitely Angelo for the win! he's kinda hard to relate to, but he's an awesomse chef & deserves it above anyone else. i really like him actually. i can't wait to eat at his restaurant when i go to NYC in January!
I hope Angelo does win. I never seen anyone so passionate about food like him. I think Angelo, though, just puts too much thinking into winning that he forgets that the food is more important and simple is better for the most part. I'm rooting for him 100%.
"I have to say I was pretty taken aback by the overt showing of contempt for each other." That could so easily have been written about you & Robin, except that Robin had too much maturity to treat you as badly as you did her. "Overt contempt" or not, the four of them did a stellar job as a team - that's professionalism in my book. Kelly's elimination was based on the food, not because she was stabbed in the back by a competitor.
@Mary T-Iron Chef has no bearing on Top Chef. Kelly Liken was the challenger, not a sous chef, on Iron Chef, which aired not long before this season's Top Chef was announced. Richard Blais was a challenger on Iron Chef before Top Chef. You also have to consider the taping of both shows is not real time. Iron Chef could have been taped after TC. Also, @Menke. I believe it was the other way around. Ed was sneaking around with Angelo's girlfiriend in college. I personally think Ed is just being funny and shame on the other chefs for not being prepared to do another dish. THIS IS THE FINALE. And Ed had immunity any way. It's not like he did something underhanded to give himself an advantage. He already had it.
I wonder if personal history has something to do with the negative attitude. Didn't Angelo say that he "stolen" Ed's girlfriend a long time ago? We'd all like to rise above that kind of background, but sometimes it's impossible. It's just a shame it's coming so passive aggressively and on national TV.
God I hope Angelo doesn't win- can taste his food through TV but ... he has been a gamer from day one. I did find Ed a bit off putting this episode but in general- I think Angelo had it coming to him.
I have to say, I never understood why Ed was a fan favorite from the beginning... and now I'm glad I never rooted for him, because his attitude is juvenile and vindictive and he's the least likable contestant in the bunch (which says a lot, considering how many people seem to hate on Angelo).
I was pulling for Kelly; I think it will come down to Ed-v-Angelo, or at least that's what the camera implies. Both have good chops, but Ed has definitely grown more into the (self proclaimed) d-bag role of late.
I agree about this seasons chefs showing alot of contempt for each other. In previous seasons there was some rivalry here and there, but not like this seasons chefs. I know there is a lot at stake for each of the chefs, but there should be a mutual respect for each other at this stage of the competiton. It makes the contestants seem very imature and calls into question the calibure of chef they are.
Ed has the upper hand going into the final. duh!
Throughout the season, Angelo acted as though he was entitled to win. Having an Asian venue increased his arrogance. Ed showed that he can rise to the occasion. Kevin was lucky that Kelly missed the mark ever so slightly. Winning this first part of the finale is not a lock into the final. Just ask Bryan Voltaggio. He won the first part last season. He was head and shoulders better than either Angelo or Ed. Most likely, Angelo will cry a river and touch Tom's sentimental button to win it whether he is actually better for the Top Meal or not.
Eli, If I recall correctly you were pretty obnoxious so don't be so hard on Ed. I think that Angelo created a climate among the chefs that calls his character to question. I hope that Angelo DOES NOT win.
I really hope Angelo wins because he concentrates lot more on his dishes and not on kicking someone's ass. Of course Angelo is also competing fiercly but he is not concentrating on defeating Ed.
Ed seemed to be good in the past but success seems to have gone to his head. He keeps saying his biggest goal is to "kick angelo's ass". Really Ed? Shouldn't your biggest goal be to either cook the best dish or to be Top Chef instead of just defeating Angelo ?
All the Best Angelo!!! Win the title of 'Top Chef' for all your fans.
I'm gonna pray for you...
I used to like Ed. No more. No doubt he is a great chef, but his continual harranging of Angelo is just juvenile. Win on the merits of your cooking, not because you "rattled" your opponent.
Oh- don't you remember how you never got through sticking it to the older female chef every chance you got in your episodes of Top Chef? Where was your professionalism? How quickly we forget...
I like all 4 of the chefs, and it is a shame the last female in the competition is now gone. I would like to see Ed win but believe it will be Angelo.
I for one was not happy to see anyone get immunity to make it to the finals and especially not ED! I also thought his behavior was really crappy, he acted like a total JERK in the kitchen. As for him planning two dishes, he was the first to say let's just do one each and then turns around and tells Tom he planned for two all along. Not cool. I was a fan of his until this episode, but now I will not ever eat in his restaurant. If you are going to win then you should win on ability, not gamesmanship. He would have ended up in the finals anyway, but wouldn't have looked like such a jerk. I agree that it should have been Kelly or Kevin going home, but now I want Angelo to win just to stick it to Ed. Go Angelo!!!
I disagree with the Judges and did not think Kelly should have gone home. I am puzzled as to why Ed has been on "Iron Chef" as a sous chef to the chosed Iron Chef, Cat Cora?????????
I love your blog, Eli. Actually, I have been reading it ahead of Tom's. You have a very good instinct of filling in some gaps and answering questions viewers man have about certain challenges. Thanks!
This is almost like a duh! moment. I am not sure how much time they have between DC and Singapore, but I am assuming it's more than a couple of days. Anyone that has followed the show, knows what is coming. In Puerto Rico they dealt with (surprise) Puerto Rican ingredients, in Napa they dealt with ... and so forth. Is it really that hard to pick up a book about the food in Singapore? Overall the competitors seem less sophisticated and professional than last season, drama is trumping focus on food.
"Ed has the upper hand by winning immunity..." Duh!!! Of course he did. However, it probably won't matter in the final finale elim challenge. Angelo will cry a river and whine and push Tom's sentimental button and win it; even if he's less than stellar.
I didn't notice the contemptable behavior you did as much as how giving the cooktestants were to each other. When Angelo asked for garlic or oil or something, Kelly gave it to him. I was surprised by that because it's a competition. She could have told him too bad - no can do. But, she didn't. At different points Ed was helpful (by handling the waitstaff) and Kevin also was giving with his extra ingredients. It was nice to see the judges impressed by the food, for a change. I
I really didn't feel there was an excessive amount of one upmanship in this episode. You could tell Ed was mostly kidding around. I also don't think he necessarily would have jumped in to making two dishes if he hadn't had immunity. He would have been much more cautious and meticulous about giving them something very well executed. Having immumity allowed him more freedom than the others. Where are the judges blogs? Maybe it's time to go another route with this show, if the judges are too busy to give this show their attention.
i think your comment about negative energy is pretty much spot on. there's a line between sizing up your opponents ("so and so is my biggest competition") and wishing them misfortune ("i just want to see so and so fail"). i think ed and angelo have crossed that line several times, which is why i think kevin has to win.
Thanks, Eli. I also felt the attitude was overly rancorous. I lost a lot of respect for Ed on this episode (as a TV personality, not a chef). Reminded me too much of the Elan/Marcel days.
100 degrees, 100% humidity, 20 hours on a plane - sounds like landing in Atlanta in August with a hangover. I totally agree, the chefs were real dopes if they didn't think they'd have to cook that day! I was surprised only that it was not an elimination challenge. The first tip-off that they'd have to cook was the guided tour and explanation of the street food. Did they think they were on "No Reservations"? That Tony Bourdain would pop out and show them his favorite Singapore stand?
Alas, no women AGAIN in the finale! But our latest ladies represented the gender well - Tiffany and Kelly were eliminated because their food was only very good, not off the charts great. I thought it was a little rotten of Ed to sneak the prep of a second dish in there for the elimination challenge, but the others seemed to rebound well.
I am psyched about the Finale, with the return of three champions and with Angelo being sick. I am still betting on Ed to take it all, although if Angelo cries one more time, he might get it just based on sympathy.
Hi Eli. I feel that the chefs had some negativity at the beginning but then I think that they started working with each and it worked to their advantage. It appeared to me that all of the chefs put out good dishes. I like you also feel that Ed has the advantage over Angelo and Kenny. I wish them all luck, but would like to see Ed or Kenny take the title. Thanks for your input on Top Chef Blog.
Eli, How in the world do you have the audacity to comment about the chefs showing contempt for each other? Do you have even a vague recollection of how you treated Robin? What a ridiculous comment comming from you.
Eli, you're kidding with that comment that chefs shouldn't show hostility to each other, right? Remember how you treated Robin? Ridiculous comment coming from you.
I am always amazed that the chefs are suprised by the "suprise" quickfire, have they never watched the show; were taking you out for a night in Miami, NOT, we're taking you to enjoy comedy, NOT etc... If Tom is there introducing you to someone...get ready to rumble.
Ed played it very smart, this is after all a cooking competition and I was glad to see him win despite his immunity and to see Angelo get another humbling experience. I was suprised that Kevin triumphed over Kelly, just wish I could have seen what Miss Tiffany would have done. In the previews they had Angelo saying something to the effect of "this is a first in TC history" and I was certain Tiff was going to waltz back in.
Loved the snarky comments of Anthony B about Eric R...Mr. B seemes to have majorly mellowed and was glad to see he hadn't become all sweetness and light. BTW...If I saw Dana Cowen coming I'd pack my knives and run for the nearest rickshaw!!
Eli, I agree with this: "I have to say I was pretty taken aback by the overt showing of contempt for each other. There was so much emphasis on wanting to make each other fail that it made me really question the focus of some of the chefs, especially this late in the game." It's why I don't want Ed to win. BUT, it's a lot coming from you given your (and Mike I's) constant childishness toward Robin last season, however annoying she may have been to you.